I never really got on with superheroes, the faux, musclebound, spandex creations of the comic world, their falseness the subject of endless dissertations, conventions and discussions. Why though? Surely all that strength and virtue, that’s enough to impress the most cynical soul something to look up to, and in there I think lies the problem.
I am not an academic, but I know a homo-erotic, fascistic pin-up when I see one, that’s the only way I can describe it. The authoritarian values of a single god-like character saving us lesser mortals from clichéd images of evil leaves me cold. Though as well as not being an academic I am also not a reactionary. Ooh nice artwork. Yes, I can appreciate the skill, man hours and sheer passion with which people devote themselves to this hero-worshipping drivel, oh sorry sub-culture, however it’s the message that disappoints.
You see, you and I if we were in one of these comics, oh sorry, there I go again, graphic novels, we would be one of the insignificant, terrified looking creatures running from the cataclysm, or the shifty individual leaning against the side of the space bar dealing some ridiculously named space junk, an aside, a prop to the main feature. Him, the cleaner of galaxies in all his undemocratic glory who comes and decides our destiny with some huge overblown weapon, there I go with the homo-erotic again, and his ridiculously exaggerated pectorals, my god, to be frank with you I’m bored of it.
Strength like the word heroism is misused. It is not down to something so simple as the circumference of the human bicep it has many faces, adversity, responsibility and many times it can be a long journey often quietly travelled and this is where we go most wrong in real life. We put our faith in the fake and the loud, that that most closely resembles our image of the superhero, and we end up with the ignorant and the aggressive, those who worship at the altar of the mirror and mammon, then we as people and not somebody in a comic-strip suffer. We get what we deserve don’t we? When we believe with passion in that which is depicted through such a juvenile, child-like set of morals.
I’m afraid that, yes, we do.